Today’s global economy benefits firms whose skills can transcend borders to address problems on a global scale.
But those opportunities come with some challenges, including international regulatory policies that aren’t in perfect sync.
That’s the case here: Five years after High Purity Systems prototyped and then produced custom remote launch purge panels that supported satellite launch missions for NASA, we were tasked with updating these panels with specifications that made them compliant with European standards.
Our client’s assignment for this new project was essentially the same as it was on the NASA job: Provide ultra-high purity gas delivery capabilities for satellite launch ground support missions.
Like the U.S., the European Union has a pressure systems and vessels code standardizing the construction of gas purification panels. U.S. rules are similar, but “close enough” doesn’t cut it.
The client called on High Purity Systems hoping that our team could navigate the EU requirements as seamlessly as we’d done for the NASA job five years earlier.
The client needed two things before it could use these purge panels in Europe. First, the panels needed to be recertified. Second, they had to comply with the EU’s recently adopted pressure and vessel standards. Those standards were codified in this directive from the European Parliament.
Conversations with the customer and a deep dive into the EU directive revealed that the unit would need updated regulators, gauges, flow meters and pressure relief valves to comply.
The requirements were straightforward enough; lead time proved to be the biggest issue. It would take two to three weeks to get the updated pressure relief valves. The regulators would take four to six weeks to arrive.
To ensure the project was not delayed, our craftsmen completed all the other required modifications in advance. As soon as the valves and regulators arrived, they were installed right away. All materials were made of 316L stainless steel and exceeded the new requirements for the EU standards. The updates (as well as required pressure and leak testing) were completed in our in-house Class 100 / Class 1000 cleanroom.
The updated panels were delivered on-time along with the required documentation stating they complied with applicable EU directives. In addition, we provided the updated panel’s technical file so that our customer could further prove it conformed to the rules.
On-time delivery of the updated panels meant that our customer could live up to its commitment to its European aerospace partners.
There’s much to be proud of in this success story. Our customer’s sterling reputation with NASA is now shared among the stakeholders in another major world space agency. The customer has made a name for itself on the world stage for its ability to deliver skillfully made UHP gas delivery equipment under any regulatory environment.
Closer to home, this project made a strong working relationship between High Purity Systems and the customer even stronger.
If your current fabricator is unfamiliar with international compliance or you’re adapting a system for international service, the High Purity Systems team is ready to lend a hand. Contact us to talk it through.
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